Community demands closure of Lavoo Cafe
by Aisha Martin
Mar 10, 2020 | 561 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents of Oakland Gardens are demanding the closure of a problematic bar and smoke lounge in their neighborhood.

A petition created earlier this week calling for the city to shut down Lavoo Cafe at Springfield Boulevard and Union Turnpike has already received over 1,000 signatures.

“The lovely community here is imperiled by this establishment,” said State Senator John Liu. “We need a business that will be symbiotic with the neighborhood and not put children and families in harm’s way. Lavoo needs to go.”

On February 29, two men were shot and three others were slashed in a fight outside the club. On December 15 and 31, other violent incidents related to the club were reported to the local precinct.

Neighbors say patrons leave Lavoo dangerously intoxicated due in part to the bottle service the club offers.

“With a number of incidents at Lavoo Cafe in recent months, it is imperative we take a serious look at whether or not this establishment should have the right to operate in Queens with a liquor license,” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “Our community will not tolerate these mindless shootings, slashings and other violent acts.”

But general manager Jean Lopez argues that the incidents did not occur inside Lavoo.

“As far as all the incidents that have taken place, I would just like it to be known that they did not happen inside,” said Lopez. “We have six security guards every night. We cannot see what happens around the corner.”

Lopez says he understands why the community is upset, and that he also lives in the neighborhood.

“It is just an unfortunate circumstance, and we are working with NYPD to try and prevent anything like this from happening again,”said Lopez.

But residents say the club has no place in a largely residential area full of school-aged children and senior citizens. Longtime resident Dani Galloway said the club attracts people from outside the neighborhood because of the celebrity DJ’s and advertising on social media.

“The last two years have been utter chaos,” she said . “They are extremely and extraordinary disrespectful when they leave Lavoo Cafe. This place brings patrons that couldn't care less about this neighborhood. Their only goal is to party.”
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